AT&T (NYSE: T) is launching its new mobile 5G network at the end of this week. The network will initially be available in select cities across the United States. AT&T said in its statement that it’s the “first and only company in the US to offer a mobile 5G device over a commercial, standards-based mobile 5G network.”
AT&T’s mobile 5G network will only be available in 12 cities to start with. Those cities include Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh in North Carolina; Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Waco in Texas; Jacksonville in Florida; Indianapolis in Indiana; Louisville in Kentucky; Oklahoma City in Oklahoma; and New Orleans in Louisiana. Seven additional cities will be added to the roster in the first half of 2019. Those cities include Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Nashville, Tennessee; and Orlando, Florida.
Certain AT&T customers will be able to use the internet on the carrier’s new 5G network starting this Friday. Unfortunately, no mobile devices currently support 5G networks. To access AT&T’s 5G service, customers will need to purchase Netgear’s Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, a portable device that creates its own Wi-Fi network. The mobile hotspot is currently priced at $500.
According to the statement from AT&T, the service and 5G mobile hotspot will be free of charge for “select businesses and consumers” for the first 90 days. After that, customers will be charged for the hotspot and $70 per month for a service plan that includes 15GB of data.
5G is the evolution of the current mobile 4G LTE network. It is supposed to deliver significantly faster data speeds than 4G LTE. AT&T has said that it expects 5G to reach multi-gigabit speeds in the next year. That would be a considerable improvement over the nearly 1 gigabit per second that modern 4G can attain under optimal circumstances.